PREAMBLE BY CHRIS TIESSEN

During the summer before high school my family took a trip to Chicago – probably so my professor parents could give some conference paper or other. Whatever the case, I had only one goal in mind for the Windy City: to visit Nike Town. And, more specifically, to grab some new kicks and swag for my upcoming freshman basketball season (at Kitchener Collegiate Institute). I managed to snag a bunch of gear at Nike Town – including a handful of Jordan shorts, a pair of Uptempos, and one particular t-shirt that summed up my life at the time. On the front, in black font, the motto ‘Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll’ was crossed out with a bold red painterly brush stroke. On the back, a succinct punchline: ‘Basketball – the last vice.’ 

While it’s been a while since I’ve laced up my kicks (custom Nike ID Kyrie IVs), I’ve never lost my love for the game. Imagine my elation, then, when I recently found out that a new professional league – the Canadian Elite Basketball League (or CEBL) – is going to kick off this summer. And that Guelph, along with five other cities across the country, will be fielding a team. The Nighthawks. It didn’t take long before TOQUE decided to sign up as an official team partner. And grab three courtside season’s tickets while we were at it. 

I can hardly wait for this summer, when The Nighthawks play their inaugural season at The Sleeman Centre in downtown Guelph. 

As a lead up to the season, in late March TOQUE Partner Cai Sepulis and I found ourselves at the CEBL’s entry draft at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. It was a swanky event, to be sure. And one befitting a new professional basketball league. Take a gander at some of the captures from that flashy evening – as well as the two-pager taken on the court at The Sleeman Centre in anticipation of The Nighthawks’ arrival. And then grab yourselves some tickets. Get ready to enjoy some fantastic basketball. And don’t doubt that these spirited games will have you thinking back to your own career as a baller. After all, it didn’t take much for me to think back on mine. 

The kicks. Former teammates. That favourite t-shirt. The boiler room of a gym way down in the bowels of Kitchener Collegiate. And the game I hit nine threes against Southwood. (Now you know.)

Guelph Nighthawks
Home games: Sleeman Centre
thenighthawks.ca

IG: @nighthawks.cebl
FB: @nighthawks.cebl